CMS announced it will test its new Medicare Advantage Value-based Insurance Design Model for five years in Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. The model gives insurers in the Medicare Advantage program flexibility in designing plans that include extra benefits and lower cost sharing for patients with certain chronic conditions.
An Israeli study that tracked patients for an average of 18.8 years found adolescents who were overweight faced 2.1 times the risk of developing esophageal cancer later on, and a 2.2 times the risk of intestinal-type gastric cancer, compared with those who were not overweight. Education level and immigration status were linked to the cancer risk, but researchers said the study did not include data on diet or alcohol and tobacco use.
An analysis of 37 studies on probiotics and physician review of the results led to agreement that specific probiotics may help reduce some irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, even though most of the doctors said gas or diarrhea were not among them. The study from Durham University in England found there was moderate agreement probiotics could relieve bloating and help normalize bowel function, and all physicians agreed probiotics may help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea or reduce its duration.
Hepatitis C patients taking telaprevir, pegylated interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin together have a higher risk of severe anemia, which most often occurs between weeks eight and 12 of treatment, a study found. Japanese researchers recommended an "intense monitoring program" for these patients.
CMS has allotted $12 million or more worth of airtime across 13 states starting Sept. 30 to encourage consumers to enroll in the Affordable Care Act's new insurance exchanges, according to media-tracking sources. The ads will run in Michigan, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas, and the campaign could be expanded as the Oct. 1 open enrollment launch approaches.